Strengthening Sub National Health Systems (Quality Improvement) Consultancy, Western Province, Solomon Islands, 12 months

  • Salary:
    negotiable / YEAR
  • Job type:
    CONTRACTOR
  • Posted:
    6 months ago
  • Category:
    Health / Medical
  • Deadline:
    23/10/2023

JOB DESCRIPTION

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfill their potential.

Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone.

And we never give up.

For every child, health.

In the Pacific we work in Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu: These 14 Pacific island countries are home to 2.3 million people, including 1.2 million children and youth, living on more than 660 islands and atolls stretching across 17.2 million square kilometers of the Pacific Ocean, an area comparable to the combined size of the United States of America and Canada. Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Solomon Islands, and Tuvalu are classified as Fragile States according to World Bank/OECD criteria.

All 14 Pacific Island countries and territories have ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, but only a third are on track with reporting obligations. Explore the different areas of our work in the link provided here www.unicef.org/pacificislands.

Background of Assignment:

Child mortality rates in Solomon Islands have been gradually declining since the early 1990s, and the country is on track to meet international child mortality reduction goals by 2030. However, rural areas have significantly higher mortality rates than urban areas. The maternal mortality ratio stands at 122 deaths per 100,000 live births (Trends in maternal mortality 2000 to 2020, Estimates by WHO, UNICEF, UNFPA, World Bank Group and UNDESA/Population Division), which is still significantly above the SDG target for 2030. Prevalence of childhood stunting, wasting and underweight in Solomon Islands is 31.6 percent, 7.9 percent, and 15.5 percent respectively (DHS, 2017). Anaemia is a significant issue in the country.

In 2018, UNICEF collaborated with Ministry of Health in Solomon Islands in identifying Primary Health Care (PHC) system gaps and in the development of guidelines for supportive supervision and community engagement. Health system gaps are an underlying cause of poor health and nutrition indicators in Solomon Islands. To improve indicators, there must be greater attention paid to building PHC systems and improving the quality of service. Weaknesses in PHC systems range from governance and leadership to procurement and logistics, health workforce, information and financing. Poor quality hinders the effectiveness of essential PHC services such as immunization, newborn care, treatment of childhood illness, maternal health and nutrition services. Improving services requires system wide quality improvements rather than disease specific approaches. Weaknesses in the system are pronounced at the subnational level where accountabilities lie but where investments in resources, energies, and managerial capacities have not reflected the importance of this level. Health system weaknesses have also resulted in low demand for PHC services with patients bypassing primary health care services for tertiary care resulting in overburdening of tertiary services and delays in seeking care. This has resulted in a concentration of healthcare expenditure and service delivery at national level, which compromises health seeking and quality of care.

Since 2021, UNICEF has provided technical assistance towards improving subnational health management capacity in Solomon Islands. The consultancy focused on translating the theory of how to manage a subnational health system into doable planning, budgeting, and actions to improve the quality of PHC services, with links and referrals between the different levels of sub-national / national health systems. In Western Province, with technical assistance from the consultant who was based in Western provincial health office, various guidelines and tools to enhance supportive supervision, quality of care, accountability and reporting, community engagement and social accountability, and annual operational planning and budgeting have been drafted.

To operationalize these guidelines and tools and address the remaining heath system gaps with focus on quality-of-care improvement, UNICEF Pacific is seeking a qualified and skilled consultant to be based in Western Province, who shall provide technical assistance and guidance to the Western provincial health management team and provincial council in Solomon Islands. With this consultancy, UNICEF would like to continue with its subnational health system strengthening / health service quality improvement support in Western province and replicate the approach in other provinces in Solomon Islands.

How can you make a difference?

The consultant will engage in accompaniment which entails shadowing key provincial health team staff and zonal supervisors offering advice, instilling confidence, and assisting with troubleshooting. It will include engaging in a process of reflection with the provincial health management team to foster a culture of understanding what works, repeating it and institutionalizing it. By systematically documenting the experiences and extending the support to other provinces, the consultant will help other provincial health teams replicate the approach for quality-of-care improvement. The consultant will also work hand in hand with the sub-national health system strengthening (governance) consultant based in Malaita Province to provide ongoing support for strengthening leadership and governance and PHC evidence-based planning and budgeting in Western Province.

Please refer to the TOR for further information on the deliverables and the timelines.

NOTE FOR CONSULTANTS:

Please submit a separate financial offer along with your application and technical proposal. The financial proposal should be a lump sum amount for all the deliverables but should show a break down for the following:

  • Monthly / Daily fees– based on the deliverables in the Terms of Reference
  • Travel (economy air ticket where applicable to take up assignment if in country support is required, as well as any in country travel)
  • Living allowance for international consultants that will need to relocate to Malaita, Solomon Islands, for the entire contract duration
  • Miscellaneous- to cover visa, health insurance (including medical evacuation for international consultants), communications, and other costs.

To qualify as an advocate for every child you will have…

Education:

  • Degree in medicine, nursing, public health, health system management, health service planning and other related disciplines

 

Experience:

  • 5-10 years’ experience working in low- or middle-income countries with an emphasis on quality of care and health systems strengthening
  • Professional work experience in clinical quality of care initiatives, approaches, particularly in maternal, neonatal and child health
  • Hands on experience strengthening health systems and shepherding change management, an advantage
  • Experience working in an international development context, particularly Pacific Island Countries, an advantage

Skills:

  • Basic computer skills, and ability to balance and reconcile figures and transcribe accurately
  • Able to manage relationships with government ministries, local governments, national and sub-national partners, service providers, communities and other stakeholders
  • (Clinical) mentoring and coaching skills
  • Communicates clearly and concisely

Knowledge:

  • Good knowledge and understanding of Quality of care and PHC/health system strengthening
  • Good knowledge of health management information system
  • Familiarity with health systems in Pacific Island Countries, particularly in Solomon Islands, is a strong asset

Language:

  • Fluency in English is required, and knowledge of a local language would be an asset.

For every Child, you demonstrate…

UNICEF’s values of Care, Respect, Integrity, Trust, Accountability, and Sustainability (CRITAS).

To view our competency framework, please visit  here

Remarks:  

UNICEF is here to serve the world’s most disadvantaged children and our global workforce must reflect the diversity of those children. The UNICEF family is committed to include everyone, irrespective of their race/ethnicity, age, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, socio-economic background, or any other personal characteristic.

UNICEF offers reasonable accommodation for consultants/individual contractors with disabilities. This may include, for example, accessible software, travel assistance for missions or personal attendants. We encourage you to disclose your disability during your application in case you need reasonable accommodation during the selection process and afterwards in your assignment.

UNICEF has a zero-tolerance policy on conduct that is incompatible with the aims and objectives of the United Nations and UNICEF, including sexual exploitation and abuse, sexual harassment, abuse of authority and discrimination. UNICEF also adheres to strict child safeguarding principles. All selected candidates will be expected to adhere to these standards and principles and will therefore undergo rigorous reference and background checks. Background checks will include the verification of academic credential(s) and employment history. Selected candidates may be required to provide additional information to conduct a background check.

Individuals engaged under a consultancy or individual contract will not be considered “staff members” under the Staff Regulations and Rules of the United Nations and UNICEF’s policies and procedures, and will not be entitled to benefits provided therein (such as leave entitlements and medical insurance coverage). Their conditions of service will be governed by their contract and the General Conditions of Contracts for the Services of Consultants and Individual Contractors. Consultants and individual contractors are responsible for determining their tax liabilities and for the payment of any taxes and/or duties, in accordance with local or other applicable laws.

The selected candidate is solely responsible to ensure that the visa (applicable) and health insurance required to perform the duties of the contract are valid for the entire period of the contract. Selected candidates are subject to confirmation of fully-vaccinated status against SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) with a World Health Organization (WHO)-endorsed vaccine, which must be met prior to taking up the assignment. It does not apply to consultants who will work remotely and are not expected to work on or visit UNICEF premises, programme delivery locations or directly interact with communities UNICEF works with, nor to travel to perform functions for UNICEF for the duration of their consultancy contracts.

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted and advance to the next stage of the selection process.

This job has expired.